Statutory Warning: Be prepared to shed that extra fat that you will intake (chocolate) while reading this book, given that we do not have a Christmas Livingstone whose chocolates are guilt-free and medicinal. Just the way that Moon has described chocolate, my intake went up by at least twice – I need a Christmas Livingstone in my world.
Any book that has the word ‘Chocolate’ in its title immediately grabs my attention, and The Chocolate Promise does exactly that and delivers what it promises – an indulgent, tasty and tender experience of Christmas Livingstone’s journey from carefully crafting and nurturing her ten rules of happiness to challenging those rules and having the courage to overcome these rules.
The book starts with Christmas’s ten rules of happiness, which she has come up with to protect herself from heart-break. Though I wouldn’t agree with all of these rules, my favourite rule was ‘There is almost nothing that cannot be improved by chocolate.’
Christmas is an extremely busy woman, running The Chocolate Apothecary, the place to go in the little Tasmanian town of Evandale for chocolate, flowers and massage. She is also the fairy god mother of the town and believes in sharing joy, to feel joyful yourself.
Christmas’s carefully created world is challenged by a series of events – firstly, her best friend Emily surprises her with a course with a world-renowned French chocolatier – this is perfect except it gets her thinking about her father she has never met and has no information about. Secondly, the handsome botanist Lincoln van Luc enters her life unannounced and asks her to work with him on a book about chocolate, and before she knows it, her most important rule for happiness is being tested – Absolutely no romantic relationship. Will Christmas have the courage to risk her heart again and know that some rules are meant to be broken, before it is too late?
The book has some lovely characters, Elsa, Lincoln’s Nan, being one of my favourites. It provides for a sweet romance, moving between Tasmania, Paris and Provence, with Paris and Provence acting as cupid between Christmas and Lincoln, keeping up with its reputation of being the romantic capital of the world. Just like an indulgent chocolate that has various textures and tastes to tantalise your senses, The Chocolate Promise comes with perfect supporting characters and secondary plot lines that makes the read even more delicious and crunchy.
At times funny, and other times bittersweet, The Chocolate Promise should be best enjoyed with some chocolate around and no one to disturb. Every time that I had to put the book aside for some other work, though unwillingly, I felt as if I was suddenly transferred from a beautiful world of romance, friendship, love and chocolate to the real world. Moon has the ability to create a bubble around the reader creating a different world around them, where everyone would want to belong.
Anyone who has enjoyed The Tea Chest will enjoy The Chocolate Promise even more, I can’t wait for the next one. To be very honest, I did not want this book to end, it left me with feeling of leaving behind a friend or saying goodbye to someone incredibly important. All in all, a great read with a guilty pleasure of devouring a whole chocolate bar.